Few teams have a better four-game record against the Steelers than the Oakland Raiders.
Since 2006, the Raiders have defeated the Steelers in three of the four games they've played. The Raiders didn't finish over .500 in any of those four seasons.
So what is it? The Steelers lost both of the games played in Oakland - in 2006 and last season's 34-31 defeat at the hands of Carson Palmer. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had one of the best individual games of his career in that loss, throwing for 384 yards on 36-for-49 passing with four touchdowns and no turnovers.
It's hard to lose with a quarterback playing like that, but a defense that couldn't get off the field and an offense that turned the ball over twice in the second half will do that.
Roethlisberger feels it was closer to those lines than any sort of mythical curse the Steelers might have against the Raiders or some kind of aversion to playing on the West Coast.
"I don't think there's anything mystical about it," Roethlisberger said Tuesday during his radio show. "Obviously, it's a big-time tradition football team — the Black Hole, the fans. And I've been asked, is it the West Coast? Is it the field? No, they just happened to beat us the last couple of times we played there."
The losses they've taken in those seasons range from worst of the season to indicative of the kind of year it was for the Steelers. In any event, they've been favored in all of them, and held fourth quarter leads in the last two.
The Raiders are also 2-4 and are coming off a bye. They've lost to the AFC's two best records right now - Denver at 6-1 and Kansas City at 7-0 and have defeated a decent San Diego team and, like everyone else, beat the Jaguars.
Kickoff from O.co Coliseum is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday.